Question about hospital nurses versus non-hospital nurses?

  1. What do you think makes a nurse prefer the hospital over non-hospital based nursing, or the other way around? Not that one is better than the other, they are just different

    One of my best friends is a great student, and she HATES hospital based nursing, and all of the clinicals that go along with that. I on the otherhand, cant handle home health, office nursing, hospice, and LOVE the hospital. I asked her today what makes her like non-hospital nursing better than hospital based nursing, and she really couldn't answer the question... She just said she likes it better.

    So, i was wondering... I know we have many nurses from both sides of the fence on this BB, so I was wondering, what makes you really prefer one over the other?

    Thanks for responding

    BrandyBSN
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    I can only speak for me. I find working in the hospital too structured and restrictive for me. In my home health job I only work one summer and one winter holiday, in the hospital I worked every other. I still work the same amt of weekend time, though in home health I got to choose every other weekend or every saturday, I chose q sat. I can also come in 15 to 30 minutes late and it doesn't inconvenience anyone. I can flex my hours, take time to attend a parent teacher conference in the middle of my day if I have to. I can work from home on my charts, and I don't have to quibble over days off. I personally love the autonomy my jobs gives me. I write the orders and just get it approved by the doc. And it is very rewarding when I can really help someone.

    I used to like the excitement of working in ICU and codes, etc... but then I am not sure what happened, I decided I liked talking to people more, and I liked pt teaching, which is so hard to do in the hospital with so many interuptions. My pt's each have my undivided attention, and I love that. I used to miss it, but I don't miss the hospital at all anymore. I think if I lost my job I'd work in a supermarket before I went back to the hospital.

    I could go on and on, but you're probably asleep already!
  4. by   P_RN
    Hospital nursing is a bit different from clinicals.

    What Hoolahan said is pretty much how it is for me except I LIKE the structure, having a second opinion right at my elbow, talking with different doctors, nurses etc. IF hospital nursing would just start being FOR the nurses instead of FOR the bottom line, I believe it would be pretty much ideal.
  5. by   Marianne518
    I can only speak as a student, but I think I will end up out of the hospital setting. From what I have seen at my clinical experiences, the nurses are so unhappy and discourage every single student from choosing this career. I have only had a couple of nurses in the past 30 weeks give me any type of encouragement at the hospital.....so more than likely I will follow my dream of being a hospice nurse a lot sooner than I anticipated. I may have to work in the hospital for a year or so to perfect my skills, but soon after that I will get the heck out of there.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with this? We have lost about 10 students in the past couple of months because of the discouragement and negativity from nurses at clinicals. It really put a scare into many of the younger students, and they got out as fast as they could.
  6. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Marianne518
    I can only speak as a student, but I think I will end up out of the hospital setting. From what I have seen at my clinical experiences, the nurses are so unhappy and discourage every single student from choosing this career. I have only had a couple of nurses in the past 30 weeks give me any type of encouragement at the hospital.....so more than likely I will follow my dream of being a hospice nurse a lot sooner than I anticipated. I may have to work in the hospital for a year or so to perfect my skills, but soon after that I will get the heck out of there.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences with this? We have lost about 10 students in the past couple of months because of the discouragement and negativity from nurses at clinicals. It really put a scare into many of the younger students, and they got out as fast as they could.
    Hi Marianne,

    It saddens me to hear that students are giving up on becoming nurses because of what they witness in the hospitals. Yes, nurses are being abused by the hospital and nursing administrators in a painfully nonacceptable way, but that situation is not going to last forever...trust me. Nursing is a wonderful profession to be a part of, and one day things will turn around for the better. Until then, please do not get discouraged. Try to invison what nursing will be like once all the problems are ironed out within the hospitals. I really believe this will happen one day, so don't give up! :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 20, '02
  7. by   live4today
    Hi Brandy,

    I have worked both as an inpatient nurse, and as a home health nurse. I enjoyed both, but I really enjoyed doing home health. The autonomy of working home health was great for me since I love to work at a pace that is comfortable for every patient I have. I enjoyed being able to spend more time with each home health client than I ever did with my inpatients in the hospitals I worked. Having one patient at a time to focus on for 30 minutes to 2 hours at a time was great!

    I still think all new grads should work one year on med/surg before doing home health, but that is my professionally based opinion.

    I have a girlfriend who worked a short while in the hospital setting and she quit to work for the health department. She just couldn't stand the level of care the patients required. She has a very low tolerance level as a person, so it only stands to reason that she would feel this way after being a nurse for so long. She's not changed her mind about it, and she can't understand how any nurse could do the things we do as nurses with inpatients.
    Last edit by live4today on Mar 20, '02
  8. by   jules-RN
    During school, I just didn't like Home Health. It didn't sit well with me because I somehow ended up going to very dirty homes. It made me sick to my stomach and turned me off to that area of nursing. I give Home Health nurses a lot of credit, but it's just not for me.

    I enjoy the hospital setting. Like some have already stated...I like the fact that there are other nurses and doctors to bounce ideas/questions off of. I also like the fact that if anything happens, most of the time, all the equipment you need is there somewhere.

    Just my opinion.
  9. by   Teshiee
    I tried both areas and I really don't have a preference. I don't care for LTC. Only because the powers that be are abusing the elderly and staff. I think whatever the nurse feels she can make most difference. I guess many of us do the hospital scene because are clinicals are based there. It is a good topic to bring up!
  10. by   PhantomRN
    I chose to go outside of the hospital to work, for the same reasons as stated above. I wanted away from the total structure.

    I also wanted my life back. Work hours that I want to work and have my holidays for my family.
  11. by   BrandyBSN
    That is probably one of the reason that I like the hospital the most. I have worked as an NA for a couple years, and although I hated the job, I really did like the structure. I like procedures, and I know I am probably the odd man out on this, but I also love paperwork Odd, i know I also got really dirty houses during home health, and I didnt feel comfortable putting my coat down, or sitting on their furniture because bugs were literally all over everything... and I have a big bug phobia I completely admire Home Health Nurses for everything they do through... I definately can't do that

    Thanks for everyone who has posted so far! This was a topic I was really curious about

    BrandyBSN
  12. by   hoolahan
    Brandy, the first few times I had to deal with roaches, I had anxiety attacks! I have to mute the TV and close my eyes during that orkin commercial...makes me completely nauseous!! I knew I had gotten over it when I was doing a prefill of a med organizer, and as I flipped open all the little tabs, a baby roach crawled out, and b/c the pt was sitting there watching me, I just casually brushed it off, but then inside I was freaking b/c I didn't know where it went. Found it squished between the layers of my nurses notes in the charts!! And I even was able to laugh about it! For all the nasty houses, there are lovely ones too. One weekend I groaned as I saw my assignment, all I could think was "Great, cockroach city." But I pulled up to the first house, it was a dump on the outside, and swpic and span on the inside. I was so relieved. Very bad neighborhood. Up the street I had another new admit, went in to the apt, again spic and span. Had a revisit in the township where I live. Pulled up and envied the fact that I couldn't afford to live in the same neighborhood, went it ... DUMP!! Roaches and filth everywhere. Just goes to show, can't judge a book by it's cover.

    I worked in the hospitals for 20 years, I learned a lot, but my priorities in life have changed, and this job just suits my needs the best. I have never been good at juggling a hundred tasks at once, that was why I did well in ICU environments, less patients, could focus as much as I wanted to on the details. I guess home health is sort of my equivalent to that, if that makes any sense.
  13. by   kaycee
    I have been a nurse for 27yrs and have always worked in a hospital. It's always been critical care, the last 20yrs in the ER. I always liked hands on nursing at the bedside where the action is. I'm older now and having some physical problems but will probably continue to work ER until I absolutely can't physically do it anymore. That may be sooner then I think so I keep my eyes open for other jobs that may come my way. At least once I get my kids through college I can go part time so that will definetely help my poor old aching body!!
  14. by   mattsmom81
    Oh, Lynne, I definitely can 'feel your pain', LOL!

    Hospital work is tough on our bodies for sure--'specially after 20 years or so of repetitive , heavy workloads under stressful conditions.

    I tried home health once and, like others, had some real bad experiences ( dangerous neighborhoods, bugs, filth, abusive crazy behavior, social worker/nurse expectations, etc) I didn't like the long driving trips or the endless phone messages "Can you call me back (again for the third time today) I forgot to ask you.....". Don't even mention all the paperwork we did on our own time..... I felt like a teacher coming home every night with papers to correct!

    Guess I felt safer and more secure in my own little ICU----even though some pretty wild and crazy stuff happens there too, it's more of a 'controlled' chaos.

    As I get older, I may not mind taking a few select home cases now and then (NOT fulltime) IF I can pick and choose. Wonder if that's possible? I did enjoy the one on one contact and met some very sweet LOL's that I still visit socially to this day.

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